Veterinarians and equestrians in the Grand Valley of Colorado are on high alert after an alarming number of equine Strangles cases have been diagnosed. Strangles is a highly contagious upper respiratory tract infection that can spread from horse to horse or from caretaker to horse by means of shoes and tools. Fever, nasal discharge, enlarged lymph nodes, anorexia and large abscesses can develop in infected animals.
“This is by far the most I've ever seen in the valley... it's a significant number of cases, and it's something people should be aware of,” Dr. Dominic Carrica, owner of Amigo Animal Clinic, told KKCO11.
The manager at Reimer’s Rainbow Ranch, Shane Prentice, says they are taking every extra precaution to prevent the spread of the disease. “We started monitoring all the horses because of contagious manner. We take their temperatures’ twice a day, on all horses. We take special care, to disinfect everything in this barn,” said Prentice.
Veterinarians recommend watching closely for symptoms of Strangers and seeking medical attention immediately if anything appears abnormal. Because it's so contagious, they fear that it will spread across the valley quickly if not contained.
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Everyone at the Reimer's Rainbow Ranch, including human and horses, won't be able to do much until each animal is cleared by a veterinarian. The Strangles outbreak could ruin the entire summer at the ranch, but the health of the horses is their top priority. Hopefully the horses get back to health quickly and no further cases are diagnosed.